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A message to State Wireless Association members from PCIA President & CEO Michael Fitch

We are pleased to inform you that on February 17, the U.S. Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The legislation is now awaiting President Obama’s signature, which is expected later this week. Section 6409 mandates that "a state or local government may not deny, and shall approve, any eligible facilities request for a modification of an existing wireless tower or base station that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such tower or base station." Collocation of new transmission equipment, removal of transmission equipment, or replacement of transmission equipment are "eligible facilities requests."
Significant victory for the industry
This legislation is an important win for our industry. It will save hundreds of millions of dollars as the industry deploys new technologies without wasteful review of existing wireless infrastructure sites. This will enable better network planning and build-out on existing and new sites. It will produce more capital investment and job growth to keep up with the dramatic increase in wireless use.
What the legislation means for your business
Fewer delays and greater certainty in the siting process will allow much more efficient expansion of the network which will benefit the entire industry. Collocations and modifications will be subject only to administrative review (such as building permits) rather than discretionary zoning and land use review. Resources previously required for collocations or modifications will be freed up to be used for new sites.
Our work continues
This legislation is the result of PCIA’s multi-year advocacy effort—strongly supported by many State Wireless Associations. PCIA will be working with the industry to prepare recommendations that you can give to zoning boards or other officials regarding appropriate process for collocations, replacements and removals—the “eligible facilities requests” covered by the new legislation. We welcome your feedback regarding local process under the new law. Please feel free to contact PCIA’s Government Affairs Team (Jonathan Campbell, Kara Leibin Azocar and D. Zachary Champ) with any questions regarding the legislation or its impact on local process.
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